NewsHillsborough County


Tampa Greyhound Track vaccination site closes with more than 155,000 shots given

Posted at 5:22 PM, May 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-25 17:22:29-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Tuesday was the last day for federally supported vaccination sites like the Tampa Greyhound Track to give out COVID-19 vaccine shots.

“I heard it was, so I figured I’d come out here and get it as soon as I could,” said Stuart Skipper.

Skipper is home from college and got his Johnson and Johnson shot Tuesday.

“My grandma lives next door, I'd like be able to protect her as much as I can,” Skipper said.

Jeremy Urekew the Operation Section Chief for the Greyhound Track told ABC Action News they’ve given a total of 155,687 shots in arms at the site alone. The site which opened 90 days ago, was intended to make COVID vaccines more accessible to socially vulnerable populations. Urekew said it was because of sites like this one that allowed the president’s goal of administering 100 million vaccines in the first 100 days to be completed early.

“This was a never seen, never done before mission," Urekew said. "Not only are we working as a total force of civilians but we have a Department of Defense compliment, that’s backing us up here. S,o this is a very large-scale humanitarian mission that’s not just being done in Florida but also all around the United States."

Urekew said the peak for daily vaccinations was at the end of March and beginning of April and the demand has since gone down. ABC Action News' Rebecca Petit did some digging into the numbers and found that according to the Florida Department of Health, 612,000 people in Hillsborough County have received at least one dose of the vaccine. And according to new data we uncovered, 4 in every 5 seniors in the state are vaccinated.

“What we’ve seen is a near 40 percent decrease in new admissions among the most heavily vaccinated in our society. That's people 70 years of age and older,” explained Dr. Jason Salemi, Professor of Epidemiology at USF.

Dr. Salemi said as the demand flattens in the state, health experts must continue to stress how effective these vaccines are.

“Still over 8 million people that have yet to receive one dose,” Salemi said.

Though federally supported sites are closing, other vaccination sites including private pharmacies are still offering the shot. Go to ABC Action News' Coronavirus page for more information about the vaccines.